Conservative education activists are frustrated with the early drafts of Texas’ new social studies standards, accusing the Republican-controlled State Board of Education of helping smuggle liberal ideas into the curriculum.
The state social studies standards were supposed to be on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, but it is absent from the agenda, as a faction on the board calls for delaying them into next year, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.
The first draft of the K-8 social studies curriculums was proposed last month and was praised by left-leaning groups. Meanwhile, the conservative education activists’ exasperation towards the early drafts of the standard stems from the inclusive teachings included, such as:
- The inclusion of LGTBQ activism alongside the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
- A requirement for students to define “sexual orientation”
- Non-inclusion of Moses as a historical figure
- Supposed inclusion of Critical Race Theory in ethnic studies courses
- Lack of a requirement for history students to learn the U.S. motto, “In God We Trust”
Ever since the pandemic started, parents have been more involved in Texas school politics, after being involved in their children’s virtual learning experience – which Republicans say demonstrated the liberal influence the curriculum had.
Texas Lawmakers have taken advantage of this energy and responded by passing a law banning the teaching of CRT. And Gov. Greg Abbott followed up with a “Parental Bill of Rights” suite of legislation that gives parents more power over content in their children’s classroom.
Brendan Steinhauser, a longtime Austin Republican strategist, told The Houston Chronicle that if the board moves forward with the curriculum as drafted, it could “become a problem within the party generally and within conservative activists. That’s not good for anybody. That’s not good for the party. That’s not good for the SBOE. That’s not good for Republican lawmakers. That’s not good for the governor or the lieutenant governor.”